Overland Classifieds :: Mercedes-Benz Vario 814D 4×4

Well, the day has finally come where I have the opportunity to showcase my dream overland rig. Now, before you grab your pitchforks, let me explain. In my mind, the ultimate round-the-world 4WD is a Toyota Land Cruiser (check out a cool FZJ80 I recently featured), but in terms of a vehicle suited to remote exploration while also being a long-term home, the Vario 4×4 is hard to beat. This Mercedes sits perfectly between LWB vans and larger trucks such as the DAF t244or Acela Monterra. Subsequently, it offers a huge interior space and an excellent payload but does not restrict access in most cases. The Mercedes 4.25-liter turbo-diesel engine is often referred to as a “million miler” if serviced correctly, while impressive 4WD performance and access to the company’s fabled global parts network completes the package. This particular example was built, in part, with Twiga Travel Cars, who are a highly regarded overland outfitter, and responsible for Nathan day’s epic MercedesVario 4×4. The asking price is eye-watering at $290,000, especially when you could buy something like this 2005 Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ79 with URO Camper and travel around the world multiple times for the same money. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful Vario, finished to a high standard, and if I can find a way to sell my soul to the devil, then I’ll be making an offer.

From the Seller:

“A first-owner Mercedes Vario 814d with 35,000 kilometres, it’s a unique world-travel vehicle for two to four people and suitable for a family.Save the costs of shipping; the car is already in Central America and fully equipped for traveling.”

2001 Mercedes Benz Vario 814D 4×4

The bulletproof 4.25-litre four-cylinder engine fitted to the Vario was offered to customers in three different iterations. A 134 horsepower/520 pound-feet of torque option has the lowest output, and a 177-horsepower/675 pound-feet of torque tune is the most powerful. This 7.5-tonne vehicle boasted an incredible 7,275-pound (3,300-kilogram) maximum payload, making it a popular choice for overland conversions. The Vario delivers impressive all-terrain capability, with permanent 4WD, centre and rear differential locks, and a five-speed ZF gearbox that incorporates a 1.67:1 reduction ratio for technical terrain.

Distinguishing Features

This Vario is finished to a very high specification, and the modifications are extensive. Notable features include:

  • Two fuel tanks (200 liters total)
  • Body unit constructed by Twiga Travel Cars (only five months use)
  • Two 300-watt solar panels, Victron Multiplus management, AGM batteries
  • Winterized 320-liter freshwater tank
  • Pirelli 285/70R19.5 tires
  • New 2021 interior
  • Queen-size bed with electric lift
  • Shower and toilet room
  • Dometic appliances
  • Webasto Air Top 2000

This UK-registered 2001 Mercedes-Benz Vario 814D 4×4 is listed for $290,000 and is currently located in Central America. Check the full vehicle specifications via the original Expedition Portal forum post here.

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No money in the bank, but gas in the tank. Our resident Bikepacking Editor Jack Mac is an exploration photographer and writer living full-time in his 1986 Vanagon Syncro but spends most days at the garage pondering why he didn’t buy a Land Cruiser Troopy. If he’s not watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he can be found mountaineering for Berghaus, sea kayaking for Prijon, or bikepacking for Surly Bikes. Jack most recently spent two years on various assignments in the Arctic Circle but is now back in the UK preparing for his upcoming expeditions—looking at Land Cruisers. Find him on his website, Instagram, or on Facebook under Bicycle Touring Apocalypse.